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Mark Anthony DeWolfe Howe

Mark Anthony DeWolfe Howe

Polly (Ethel) Thayer (1904 - 2006)
Oil on canvas
26 x 20 in. (66 x 50.8 cm)

Polly Thayer painted this portrait of her friend, writer and historian Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe (1864–1960), at the Howe family’s summer cottage in Bristol, Rhode Island, in 1933. (That year Howe became the Director of the Boston Athenæum.) Thayer later remembered that, to relieve the boredom during the sittings, the subject’s son Mark Howe read aloud from Henry James’s The American Scene. The experience, Thayer wrote, “was one of the happiest of my life.”

Credit Line: 

Gift of Reginald Allen, 1982

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